Evotec, Bayer partner for drug discovery in women's health

January 9, 2020 -- Evotec and Bayer announced on January 9 the expansion of their partnership in women's health with a new five-year, multitarget collaboration with participation from Celmatix to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that occurs in 5% to 10% of women and causes female infertility. Due to limited treatment options, new therapeutics are urgently needed.

According to the agreement, both companies will contribute drug targets and technology platforms to jointly develop innovative treatment options. The strategic alliance will also have access to targets from the recently formed partnership between Celmatix and Evotec.

Celmatix is the world leader in big data-driven target discovery focused on fertility and women's health.

Bayer and Evotec will share responsibilities during the preclinical development of potential clinical candidates. Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialization.

Evotec will receive an upfront payment of 6.5 million euros and 10 million euros in research payments over five years, which it will share with Celmatix in exchange for novel target identification and prioritization as part of the recently announced strategic alliance between the companies. Evotec and Celmatix might be eligible to receive preclinical, clinical, and sales milestones of potentially over 330 million euros, as well as royalties up to low double-digit percentages of net sales.

"Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common, underdiagnosed and undertreated disease among women, with several serious comorbidities. The currently available treatment options are also limited and insufficient," said Dr. Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer of Evotec. "Our long-term partnership with Bayer and the progression of multiple clinical candidates has been very successful and we look forward to continuing the relationship to deliver novel therapies for the benefit of patients with PCOS."

"There is a high unmet medical need for women worldwide suffering from PCOS. This new research alliance will perfectly complement Bayer's research activities in the area of women's health," said Dr. Joerg Moeller, member of the executive committee of Bayer's pharmaceuticals division and head of research and development. "We look forward to joining our forces with Evotec in PCOS to develop new treatment options for women living with this often-devastating condition."

"For far too long, women with PCOS have not had access to drugs that were specifically developed to treat this condition and have had to rely on drugs prescribed off label," said Dr. Piraye Yurttas Beim, founder and CEO of Celmatix. "Working closely with Bayer and Evotec allows us to leverage our decade-long investment into understanding the molecular underpinnings of this complicated syndrome to help enable completely novel therapeutics for these women and generations of women to come."

This new partnership is a follow-up effort to the first completed five-year, multitarget alliance that Bayer and Evotec began in 2012. That collaboration resulted in three clinical and one preclinical drug candidate currently advancing through development for the treatment of endometriosis.

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